Tweets, Reposts, Views, and Likes. These words, universally understood and frequently used today, did not exist before social media. Although the first social media website was created in 1997, the sites that gained a lot of popularity were MySpace (early 2000’s) and Facebook (2004-05). Facebook is the site that really set off the social media age. Social media over the span of 20 years has expanded in its websites and purposes. Some say that social media is used primarily to communicate with friends online. I beg to differ. Here’s 5 Ways Social Media Went Above and Beyond its Stereotypical Purpose.
- Career/Internship Opportunites Become Seemingly Endless– Social media has become a platform that individuals can use to find various opportunities in the professional field. Linkedin is a form of social media in which one can create a profile that includes their resume and degrees, and they can connect and communicate with professionals in various fields. This allows students to make connections and sometimes even secure internship opportunities. Conversely, colleges can also use social media to their advantage by recruiting potential students online.
- Easy Accessibility of Current Events– Personally, I cannot tell you the last time I turned on the news on my TV or picked up a newspaper. For those in my generation and younger, social media has become the medium through which we learn our current events from. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and YouTube are a handful of websites that I have received around 90% of my current events recently, and I have a feeling that the majority of social media consumers in my age group are in a similar position.
- Entertainment in Abundance– Social media has become a large source of entertainment for many groups of people. Websites like Twitch and Hitbox allow people to livestream games and viewers can watch and chat with these gamers in real-time. YouTube is like a giant file cabinet with countless drawers of videos to watch. Almost 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily! And Instagram/Twitter is filled with memes, pictures, and jokes that pertain to real-life events.
- Company Advertisement like Never Before– Never before has it been so easy for a company to get its name out there. All they have to do is make a Facebook page or a Twitter account and instantly get their name and message out there. Research shows that over 90% of retail brands uses two or more social media channels. This also makes it easy for these companies to interact with their consumers. Consumers that are satisfied can share their enjoyable experiences with other associates which gains the company more publicity and ultimately more revenue.
- Personal Branding– While this may be similar to companies advertising, this is much more personal. Social Media allows individuals to present themselves how they want and to build their reputation up in their own ways. We can create our own personas and this gives us confidence in what we want to do. And if we own our own business, this is one of the ways we can promote our company. After discussing these five points, do you still see social media as nothing more than teens posting selfies? Or do you more clearly see its various purposes and applications in this generation? And if you already knew some of these points, now you are adequately equipped to explain the importance of social media in our lives.